Brain Terrains

Hanif Janmohamed is an artist based in Vancouver, Canada. His practice is focused on the Geographies of the Mind. ‘Brain Terrains’ is an ongoing body of work. A wandering, quixotic expedition through the common visual lexicons of our human and planetary bodies – a reframe of our inhabitation across scale through recombined medical and satellite imaging.

Brain Terrains are contemporary portraits created within a scientific imaging frame. As we peer into this familiar technologically-mediated space we encounter ourselves as a composite map of our physical and planetary bodies. Medical and Earth imaging reveal a remarkable symmetry in their vernacular and create a visual lexicon that repeats itself across scale.

Cranial Cosmology, Self Portrait, 2013. Backlit digital print, 24″ x 24″


Cyberia. 2015. Limited edition digital prints.

Brain Terrain compositions are scans that probe the landscapes of the self. They offer a brain’s-eye-view of a shadowy space inhabited by a shape-shifting, temporal [id]-entity. These contemporary portraits are artifacts from a quixotic investigation into this psychogeographic realm.

An emergent body of work, Brain Terrains engages in recursive explorations of scale, combining medical imaging from CT-scans, MRIs, X-rays – and earth imaging, using maps and satellite data from NASA’s Earth Observatory project. A Cranio-planetary imaging technique that illuminates the connective tissue of being a human animal, by recombining what is a singular, inversely-scaling living-environment that we both embody and inhabit.

Shanghai at Night. 2016. Backlit digital print, 24″ x 36″ and limited edition prints.


Vancouver-Tête-à-Tête. 2017. Backlit digital print, 24″ x 36″ and limited edition prints.


Two Mississippi. 2019. Limited edition digital prints.

Pattern Language. Mississippi-1. 2019. Limited edition digital prints.

Pattern Language. Mississippi-2. 2019. Limited edition digital prints

Pattern Language. Sahel. 2019. Limited edition digital prints.


Paris at Night. 2017. Backlit digital print, 24″ x 36″ and limited edition prints.

Detail, Cities at Night Collection.

The current evolution of Brain Terrains engages with our selfie culture by continuing to reimagine the nature of contemporary portraiture for the digital age, challenging the ascendance of the superficial selfie by offering a richer, deeper and more empowering means of digital self-representation – A Brain Terrain Inner Selfie.

Brain Terrains – Selfie-0002. 2019. Digital print.

Brain Terrains – Selfie-0004. 2019. Digital print.

Brain Terrains – Selfie-0012. 2019. Digital print.


Installation photo, Bering Bearings (diptych). 2013
Collection of THNK School of Creative Leadership. Limited edition digital prints.

Detail, Bering Bearings


Hanif Janmohamed website:


All images copyright and courtesy of Hanif Janmohamed

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